Michigan State Recruiting: 5 most underrated 2017 football commits
Michigan State recruiting’s 2017 football class is complete and which five commits can be considered the most underrated?
The 2017 Michigan State recruiting cycle has come and passed and it’s time to look at the future of the Spartan program. Before that can happen, an evaluation of the class is in order. Michigan State has been knocked for putting together a lackluster group, but there are some truly underrated prospects in the bunch.
Every season there seems to be a slew of underrated guys who will come in and earn a spot on the depth chart and eventually crack the starting group. Despite the 2017 class being ranked No. 36 in the country by 247Sports, it’s not an exception to the trend.
Underrated recruits come in all shapes and sizes and there may be at least one at every position in this year’s class.
Take a look at five of the most under-the-radar recruits in the Spartans’ 2017 class.
5. Jack Camper, 3-star TE (Bradenton, Fla.)
Michigan State had two tight ends commit in the 2017 class. Matt Dotson is the one who is expected to be the instant contributor for the Spartans, but three-star Jack Camper is an early enrollee who could come in and steal some playing time.
Camper played some defensive end in high school as well, but he is coming to MSU as a tight end with the perfect frame to replace a departing Josiah Price. He stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 230 pounds. He has the perfect size for a Spartan tight end and his soft hands and athleticism set him apart from most at his age.
Looking for a red zone threat next season or the year after that? Camper could be that guy. Getting him on campus early is a major key for his future success.
The three-star from IMG Academy is ranked the No. 759 overall recruit and 35th-best tight end in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports‘ composite. He’s the Spartans’ 12th-best rated recruit in the class.
4. Lashawn Paulino-Bell, 3-star DE (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
There was chatter on message boards and just rumors circulating about potential de-commitments in the 2017 class. One was the highest-rated 2017 recruit Kevin Jarvis and the other was three-star defensive end Lashawn Paulino-Bell.
Neither of those rumors ended up being true and both signed with the Spartans on National Signing Day. The worry over Paulino-Bell’s de-commitment was real seeing as he was one of the more underrated kids in the class with a true workhorse mentality and he seemed to fit the Michigan State mold. However, his recruitment was heating up.
More schools were taking notice of the 6-foot-4, 235 pound weak-side defensive end from St. Thomas Aquinas in Pompano Beach, Fla. He looked the part of Michigan State’s next big star on the defensive line and the Spartans are breathing a sigh of relief now that they’ve retained him.
What impresses me most about Paulino-Bell is the fact that he can either turn on the jets to run down a ball-carrier or stay in position to avoid over-pursuing and make a play on an option. He’s just that athletic and well-trained at the position.
Paulino-Bell is ranked the No. 733 recruit and 44th-best weak-side defensive end in the 2017 class, according to the 247Sports‘ composite. He’s the Spartans’ 11th-ranked recruit in the class.
3. Tre Person, 3-star CB (Atlanta, Ga.)
The theme of the 2017 class seemed to be flipping. Michigan State flipped a few recruits and one of them, Tre Person, was committed to Georgia Southern a couple weeks before signing day. He visited Michigan State after an offer and fell in love with the Spartans.
Derrick Tatum trained with Person at Elite Football Academy over the past year, or so, and he had nothing but good things to say about the underrated prospect from Atlanta, according to Allen Trieu and The Detroit News.
“I tell you this, he may end up being the best corner in 2017 class in Georgia, and I trained (four-star South Carolina commit) Jamyest Williams for the last four years,” Tatum said. “But Tre’s upside is tremendous because he’s an unfinished product. I’m surprised more schools didn’t offer, but it’s a good thing for MSU.”
Another Dennard coming from Georgia?
“Absolutely,” Tatum said. “He’s already just as athletic as Dennard was out of high school and faster. He’s a 10.8 guy in the 100. He just needs to gain some weight but Michigan State has one of the best strength programs in the country and with Greg from Eagle Eye and I working with him the next five months, he will add 15 pounds and be ready to go.”
Stating that person could wind up being better than Jamyest Williams, once a top Spartan target, is high praise. Also that he could be the next Darqueze Dennard has fans drooling already.
Person is the No. 1,047 recruit in the class as well as the No. 112 cornerback, according to 247Sports. He’s the Spartans’ 19th-best rated recruit in 2017.
2. C.J. Hayes, 3-star WR (Bowling Green, Ky.)
One of the last additions to the 2017 class is three-star wide out C.J. Hayes from Bowling Green, Ky. He was committed to Purdue the week before National Signing Day, but took a final official visit to East Lansing, liked what he saw and signed with the Spartans.
For Purdue, it was a huge blow seeing as he was one of the highest-rated recruits in the Boilermakers’ 2017 class, but the Spartans needed to add another receiver after missing on Oliver Martin, Jaylen Harris and a few others throughout the cycle.
Hayes is a guy who no one would have thought would flip his commitment right before signing day since he was committed to Purdue for so long and the Spartans didn’t necessarily believe they had enough time to do so. His love for Michigan State was evident, though, and he admitted he’s always wanted to be a Spartan.
This is the kind of kid you have to root for because he got to follow his dreams of becoming a Spartan and is undervalued by recruiting services. If you watch his film above, you’ll realize how athletic he truly is instantly. He is a big-bodied receiver, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 200 pounds, who has softs hands and solid elusiveness.
The new Spartan signee is ranked the No. 1,048 overall recruit and 141st-best receiver in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports. He’s also the Spartans’ 18th-highest rated recruit in the class.
1. Jordan Reid, 3-star OG (Detroit, Mich.)
Although Jordan Reid is one of the highest-rated offensive lineman (second-highest, to be exact) in the Spartans’ 2017 class, he’s still regarded as an elite talent who doesn’t quite get the recognition he deserves.
Scout.com‘s Midwest recruiting expert Allen Trieu even stated that there’s a lot to like about the three-star offensive guard from Cass Tech. He went on to insinuate that he has the tools and film to be a four-star, but never really got a bump in the rankings.
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound guard from Detroit is a proven winner and his aggressiveness and strength kept him on the field as a valuable member of Cass Tech’s offensive line as it went on to win the state championship in 2016. He’s one of those rare offensive linemen out of high school who drives to the whistle, even if that takes him 10-15 yards down the field.
Reid played a little tackle at Cass Tech as well, but he projects more as an offensive guard with his frame. If he were to add 15-30 pounds, he could make the move to tackle to fill a need, though.
The three-star is ranked the No. 374 overall recruit and 21st-best offensive guard and 11th-best prospect from the state, according to 247Sports‘ composite. He’s the Spartans’ fifth-highest ranked recruit in the class.
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